Discover the 10 best sustainable hotels in the world

Aligning travel goals with eco-warrior ambitions, these green hotels are breathing fresh life into the travel industry by way of farm-to-table fare, solar-powered energy systems and earth-friendly policies. Travellers looking to go green no longer have to slum it at cold shower campsites, instead, they can call on these eco-friendly resorts to bring sustainable luxury that won’t cost the earth. From the Galapagos Islands to the English countryside, discover Mr Hudson’s top 10 sustainable hotels below.

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Photo: Heckfield Place

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Settled on 400 acres in rural England within a Georgian Manor estate, Heckfield Place will surprise you with its modern views on sustainability

Sustainable hotels

The travel industry may struggle to shrug off its reputation for grey practices, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Thanks to a range of efforts among conscientious business owners and industry leaders, people looking to travel more sustainably can do so more easily than ever. The number of environmentally friendly hotels and resorts keeps climbing as more and more property owners realise the importance of going green. Efforts include smart showers, solar power installation and waste diversion and community development, but the green initiatives don’t end there. Read on for more insights into how our 10 global favourites are working at achieving harmony with their natural environment.

Photo: Petit St. Vincent

Photo: Capella Ubud

1. Pikaia Lodge, Ecuador

To balance the fragile ecosystems of the Galapagos Islands, sustainable practices are at the forefront of the Pikaia Lodge ethos. Carbon-neutral and built using recyclable, locally sourced materials, the lodge has been firmly involved in environmental protection from its conception, also launching its own social responsibility program. As well as being ethical throughout, Pikaia Lodge is the island’s only luxury hotel, based on 76 acres in the forested hills of Santa Cruz. Look out at stunning volcanic wilderness from your suite, tortoise and bird watching all nearby to the creature comforts of the hotel’s swimming pool, film room and spa.

2. Fogo Island Inn, Canada

Now to Canada for a stay at Fogo Island Inn, a community-oriented initiative dedicated to bringing prosperity to the people of Fogo Island in rural Newfoundland. Designed to meet the highest levels of efficiency and conservation while providing the utmost luxury across 29 rooms, the inn melds wooden floors and bespoke furnishings for a sleek, Scandinavian finish. The inn also prides itself on preserving local ways of life, working with the village’s fishermen, boat builders and local artists to bring a cultural experience for all guests. Enjoy seasonal fine dining brought to you by the Fogo Island Agricultural Co-op, taking an ‘Old Pal’ cocktail at the fireplace or in the tub while overlooking crashing North Atlantic coastline through panoramic windows.

Fogo Island Inn | Photo: Alex Fradkin

Fogo Island Inn | Photo: Michael Hayter

3. Camp Glenorchy, New Zealand

Honoured with the title as one of the ‘World’s Greatest Places’ by TIME Magazine,  Camp Glenorchy is truly something special as New Zealand’s only net-zero energy accommodation. Built following the Living Building Challenge’s rigorous sustainability guidelines, Camp Glenorchy is set to impress with its solar garden, smart lighting and advanced energy systems as much as with its pristine natural surrounds in the space between the Humboldt and Richardson mountain ranges, just 45 kilometres from Queenstown. Besides appreciating the hotel’s communal kitchen and rustic farmhouse stylings, guests can embark on any number of trips into the great outdoors, for skiing, cycling, skydiving and horseback riding.

Photo: Camp Glenorchy

4. Heckfield Place, England

Settled on 400 acres in rural England within a Georgian Manor estate, Heckfield Place will surprise you with its modern views on sustainability. While Hampshire is usually associated with Jane Austen and high society, Heckfield Place goes bio-dynamic with its own biomass energy centre and aerobic waste digester to support the comings and goings of its guests. In keeping with the sustainability mission, superstar chef Skye Gyngell sources many of his creations from the local farm, while the products used at the on-site Little Bothy Spa are all-natural and ethically sourced. Indulge in spa treatments or take a Bodyism training program, joining upcoming glass-blowing workshops before winding down at the atmospheric Moon Bar for 40-year-old cognac and countryside tales.

Photo: Heckfield Place

Photo: Heckfield Place

5. Petit St Vincent, St. Vincent & The Grenadines

A proud member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Petit St Vincent joins the growing list of hotels going green without sacrificing its luxury credentials. Perfectly remote on the private island of St. Vincent in the Caribbean, Petit St Vincent maintains the island’s self-sufficiency ethos with a seawater desalination plant and local organic garden project. Stay at one of 21 cottages to be waited on by Mini Moke-driving butlers, in proximity to hammock-lined beach fronts and the turtles of Tobago Cays archipelago just a short boat ride away. For formal meals, guests can also enjoy candlelit dinners on the hill or take a more barefoot approach at the beachfront restaurant.

Petit St. Vincent | Photo: Mike Toy

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A tented camp flanked by both rice paddies and the Wos River, Capella Ubud offers salt-water pools and Balinese aesthetics across camp in a layout inspired by 19th-century European settlers

6. Capella Ubud, Bali

Maintaining an air of mystery deep within the rainforests of Ubud, Capella Ubud has nothing to hide with its forward-thinking attitude towards conservation. A tented camp flanked by both rice paddies and the Wos River, Capella Ubud offers salt-water pools and Balinese aesthetics across camp in a layout inspired by 19th-century European settlers. While your room comes full of luxury comforts, join other guests for Asian fare at Mads Lange or Api Jiwa restaurant or watch an old-school movie at the Camp Fire. By day, guests can cycle the seven kilometres into the city centre or go off-map and into nature anyway they choose.

Photo: Capella Ubud

7. Blue Waters Resort & Spa, Antigua

Antigua’s most sustainable eco-resort, Blue Waters Resort & Spa is also one of the most luxurious, hosting idyllic Caribbean Sea views across its 17-acre tropical gardens, overlooked by four bars, three à la carte restaurants and 3 freshwater pools. Blue Waters Resort is easy to access, just 15 minutes from VC Bird International Airport but boasts upmost tranquillity whether on your private balcony or one of two private beaches. Outside of the grounds, guests can embark on deep-sea fishing, parasailing and horseback riding activities, while back at base, the full-service spa, gym and salon will have you toned and beautified in time for dinner on clifftop restaurant, The Cove.

8.  Salinda Resort, Vietnam

Partnered with WWF-Vietnam to reduce plastic waste on the island of Phu Quoc, Salinda Resort is a true community leader, organising monthly beach clean-ups while also prioritizing sustainable practices across its grounds. Based within the town of Duong Dong, the resort is just 5 minutes from the airport and the island’s bustling centre. Tall trees and ocean waves block out most of the sounds of the town, but Vietnamese heritage is alive and well among the frangipani fragrances and Hoi An-commissioned lantern décor. Minimising waste wherever possible, Salinda Resort focuses on experiences, allowing guests to visit local attractions such as pepper and pearl farms, local markets and fishing villages, day-tripping to Pineapple Island or Phu Quoc National Park after exhausting the luxuries of the resort’s pool and spa.

Vietnam | Photo: Giau Tran

Photo: Capella Ubud

9. Soneva Fushi, Maldives

A trailblazer for sustainability hotels in the Maldives, Soneva Fushi does more than simply recycle its waste, going as far as to create a new industry with its ‘Waste to Wealth’ initiative, helping to support and educate the local community across three separate islands. Secreted away within the jungle greenery of Baa Atoll, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve on a Maldives private island, Soneva Fushi is both spacious and elegant, featuring a private garden and signature outdoor bathrooms with services provided by Barefoot Butler. Enjoy the open-air cinema or stargazing in the observatory, tasting chocolate and ice cream in the resort’s studios before sailing on the resort’s very own two-bedroom yacht towards the ever-more remote Sandbank for a night to remember.

Photo: Soneva Fushi, Maldives

10.  Aquila Eco Lodges, Australia 

One of a few eco-friendly hotels within Grampians National Park, Aquila Eco Lodges takes the top spot by combining quiet wilderness lodges with a wildlife sanctuary at the foot of Mount Abrupt near the artsy town of Dunkeld. The only crowds you’ll meet at Aquila will be of the baby kangaroo and wallaby variety, while birds, lizards and native plants firmly outnumber humans in the bush surrounding. Aquila can cater to both families and couples, providing private patios with day beds, meditative hiking trails and romantic dining all on-site.

Photo: Aquila Eco Lodges

Photo: Justin Clark

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Fogo Island Inn | Photo: Bent René Synnevåg

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